Balancing stylish elegance and practicality, Reeven’s new Polariz 3-channel fan controller is not made of plastic like a typical 5.25″ bay fan controller. It is enclosed in steel with three large 42mm metal knobs for controlling three independent channels, supporting up to 36W. The design, Reeven claims, was inspired by a car dashboard. While it is less colorful than Reeven’s previous fan controller offerings having only a single-color LED display, the Polariz is not short on features having thermal monitoring capabilities, temperature limit warnings and boasts load voltage display per channel.[sc:sponsor sponsor=”Reeven” product_link=”http://www.reeven.com/polariz” product_name=”Polariz (RFC-04)” product_price_link=”http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAA093NW2148&cm_re=reeven_polariz-_-9SIAA093NW2148-_-Product” product_price=”$52.50″ ]
The Reeven Polariz fan controller packaging is quite a bit more conservative compared to the two previously reviewed Reeven Four-Eyes and Six-Eyes fan controllers, having mostly only a black and white print with the exception of the flags on the side for multi-lingual descriptions. The external cover is not short on information however, with the features, dimensions and diagrams on all the other sides.
Inside, there are padding on all four sides as well as top and bottom with the ReevenPolariz controller unit itself is isolated inside a plastic bag from the rest of the accessories.
In addition to the fold-out user guide, the bundled accessories include:
- Four thermal probe wires (one extra) measuring 700mm long and stickers to mount them
- Installation screws for mounting the Polariz inside a case
- Three 3-pin to 3-pin/4-pin fan cables measuring 700mm long
|Dimensions||(W)148 x (H)42.5 x (D)98mm|
|DC Input||DC5V & DC12V|
|DC Output||4V ~ 12V(±10%)|
|Output Ampere||3A per Channel|
|Fan Speed Range||0~9990rpm|
Like any standard 5.25″ device, the ReevenPolariz measures 148mm wide by 42mm tall (42.5mm because of the front bezel), fitting on a single external drive bay. Its total length is only 98mm however, hence the requirement for mounting screws as it only extends into half-length mounting position on cases with tool-less installation. The biggest difference between the Polariz and the other Reeven controllers however its metal enclosure which extends to the top as well is rather than just having an open roof in the Four-Eyes and Six-Eyes fan controllers.
The enclosure is made of steel and is painted black, and the bezel is made of thick plastic but it fits well with the metal body almost seamlessly. You actually would not notice too much unless you touch it. Its most prominent feature however are the three large metal knobs in front. These knobs have a 42mm diameter so it extends the entire height of the Polariz device. In the middle of each of these is the display screen.
These knobs have a deep criss-cross hash on the side to help with grip when adjusting as seen on the side. Since it is a half-length 5.25″ device, it mounts on the case with only the front side top and bottom pair. In some chassis designs where the 5.25” mounting hole is a variable depth mount, it can be installed flush to the front panel. On regular 5.25” non-variable mounts however, the bezel part extends outwards.
For modders, the metal shell can be taken apart and repainted relatively easily as it is held together by screws.
Power is provided via SATA power so the fans have to be plugged in when the Polariz is powered on or else the fan will not start. It is a matter of safety since an open header with power flowing through it when nothing is connected is a bad idea, so it shuts that header off if it detects that nothing is connected when it initializes. Power supply to each of the three channels has a Fairchild Semiconductor FQP series 50N06 N-channel TO-220 MOSFET with four chokes and 330uF ChengX electrolytic capacitors, a similar setup and layout to the two previously reviewed Reeven Coolers.
Three channels are available with three temperature probe headers. The digital display in the middle of the knob shows bluish LED numbers with the fan RPM at the top, the temperature in the middle and the voltage value being fed to the header. Users can toggle between Celsius and Fahrenheit via the dip switch at the back. Users can also adjust the temperature alarm limit here with the combination of three dip switches.
Tested using three powerful Enermax TwisterStorm 120mm fans fully populating the channels which ramp up to 3500 RPM and draw 15W each, the Polariz had no problems running it within the +/-10% range. The voltage readout is a great addition, especially for those who are used to DC voltage fan control. The controls are tactile and the analog knob allows for adjustment even when not looking at the display. Since the knobs are quite big as well, it can be turned without obscuring the display in the middle since users can just move it from the side with a finger.
The metal housing is also complemented appropriately by the well-designed front bezel. There are no multi-color options for the display like in the Reeven Six-Eyes II but the Reeven Polariz more than makes up for it with the strong sense of design that is highly functional and very attractive. It is far and away, the best looking fan controller I have seen in a while that does not rely on any gimmicks. A solid design goes a long way, and in the case of the Polariz’ metal housing, it literally can because it is a lot more durable. I could see this go into a casemod and blend in easily as well.
Pricewise, it is close to the Reeven Four-eyes and Six-Eyes II but slightly higher at $56 (MSRP) but it is actually available for less at NewEgg.com for only $52.50 and even less at Performance-PCs.com for only $49.95. NewEgg.com offers it with free shipping however, so depending on your area, that one might be the better deal.
Overall otherwise, the Reeven Polariz, satisfies functionally and aesthetically while standing out clear from the common fan controller, even though priced competitively, It earns the Modders-Inc Editor’s Choice award.